Long known for the Golden Age designs played by Chicago businessmen on holiday, Milwaukee came into its own with Tuckaway Country Club and other representatives during the late ‘60s. The design, from Dick Nugent and Ken Killian, embodied the rising trends in golf course architecture for the area, utilizing large bunkers and water hazards, as well as thin fairways to place a premium on accuracy.
The course would go on to host the Greater Milwaukee Open a few years after it opened, challenging the city’s best accordingly. Over time, the club has worked to maintain its championship caliber. Despite working with a relatively thin piece of property, Jeffrey Brauer and other renovators have managed to stretch the course to more than 7,200 yards. A par on the long closing par four, with its boomerang-type green will be well-earned, along with most of your other pars on the day.
During my coverage of the Ryder Cup this past September at Whistling Straits I had the opportunity to visit a number of courses in the Badger State. One of the more impressive -- from what it had become -- to what it is today -- is Tuckaway CC in Franklin.
In short, the pre-Tuckaway -- was growing stale and tired -- a poster child for the style of architecture that is now in the rear-view mirror. Trees were interfering with play and there needed to be a rebirth of the holes with some fine tuning. Jeff Brauer did a solid effort. The "new" Tuckaway is more engaging and the overall hole quality is clearly far more compelling. It helps matters when no less than 29 new tees boxes were added -- thereby giving the facility total elasticity for all types of play.
For many years the facility hosted the Greater Milwaukee Open and the latest effort has clearly given a bright future for the property.
The overall level of golf in Wisconsin has risen dramatically with the Kohler courses front and center and a number of classic architecture courses -- Lawsonia Links, West Bend, Blue Mound and especially Milwaukee receiving their just due. There are also a good number of daily fee layouts worth checking out.
If one happens to be in the Franklin area and can secure an invite -- be sure to stop and see for yourself.
M. James Ward